Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Sangha: Community Introductions => Topic started by: Matthew on August 20, 2017, 03:41:21 PM

Title: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on August 20, 2017, 03:41:21 PM
That other thread was getting a bit long :)

Welcome.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Undertonez_evanston17 on September 18, 2017, 11:34:28 PM
Hello everyone  :D   My name is Bre (like the cheese haha) and I'm happy to have found you guys. I've been doing meditation for a few years and have a couple programs back at my alma mater. I just opened my first practice  ??? and I'm hoping to share all my insight with you all on the journey and pickup some insight as well.  Feel free to contact me anytime (though it may take a little while for a reply).
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on September 19, 2017, 02:51:13 PM
Welcome Bre. Please refrain from promoting your meditation centre in any way on the forum - such activity is not allowed. Genuine taking part in discussions is always most welcome.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on September 19, 2017, 06:05:29 PM
Welcome, Bre. Please ensure forum rules are adhered to.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Judith on September 20, 2017, 10:49:38 AM
Goodmorning everybody (it's 11.45 AM here in Amsterdam),

I am Judith and new to this forum. Happy to be accepted to this forum (thanks Matthew ;) ) and being able to share experiences and help eachother during our processes of self-inquiry.

I have been meditating on and off since about ten years. Did several Buddhist courses and practised mostly Shamatha and occasionally Loving Kindness. Never longer then 30-45 minutes though. The courses&retreats  remained to be a kind of intellectual input (I wrote down numerous great wisdom-quotes during the retreats, listening to these very wise guru's and teachers), rather than giving me the tools to really integrate it in my daily life and experience real benefit. Last May I did a training in MBSR (Minfulness Based Stress Reduction) which was already far more practical and useful for me.
I also did many guided meditations through my meditation-app. A great help for me to relax with.

But the real turn around came last august because since then my meditation practice has been significantly intensified after a 10-day Vipassana retreat (in the tradition of S.N. Goenka) in Belgium. Now I truely learned how to sit and keep sitting! ;)
I also have lost some stubborn bad habits since then and notice other very good effects and I am grateful for that! Determined to keep practising for at least one hour a day and aiming for two.

But as you all might recognise.: daily live is demanding (I am a single mother, music teacher and work behind the scenes in the world of theatre and comedy and like to play my cello, write&sing songs and do some rowing on the river of Amsterdam  :) ).

So in brief: nice to meet you all and be part of this online Sangha. I am curious to other Vipassana traditions and like to read your inputs on this forum. Feel like a beginner allover (which is good as Buddha told his pupils to always keep a beginners mind ;) ) and will attend monthly meditation days here in Amsterdam. 
Metta to you all and have a great day! ;D

Judith
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on September 20, 2017, 04:06:26 PM
Welcome, Judith.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Crispy0405 on September 21, 2017, 12:09:27 AM
Welcome to the forum Judith  :)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on September 21, 2017, 03:58:21 PM
I am Judith and new to this forum. Happy to be accepted to this forum (thanks Matthew ;) )

Welcome to the forum Judith.

Apologies I mistakenly deleted your account first time round, and thank you for persisting and creating a new one :)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Undertonez_evanston17 on September 29, 2017, 01:44:56 AM
Hi all, quick follow up- didn't think I was in ANY WAY promoting my business. I didn't put any identifying information or links. Just trying to share my backstory. Sorry if that broke the rules ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on September 29, 2017, 10:21:59 AM
You broke no rules. Thanks for your understanding.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: DC on October 06, 2017, 10:07:16 AM
Hello  All,

Just wanted to say hi and looking forward to being apart of this community. Started practicing meditation since april of this year and it has been an interesting experience so far. Never thought how challenging it can be to sit with your eyes closed and go within the body for extended periods of time. As a side note prior to practicing there was a point of time when I was planning to make an exit from this life.  Went thru a really tough break up with a long time girl friend.I try not to project so much into the future and stay in the present moment. Thanks for allowing me into the group!
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: raushan on October 07, 2017, 02:50:00 PM
Welcome to the forum DC.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Patrice on October 14, 2017, 06:42:48 PM
Hello from the canadian arctic. I'm relatively new to meditation and I'm very happy registration to this forum are now open again. Having no one to talk about meditation here, I think it might be of great help to have you guys to learn from and ask questions to.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on October 15, 2017, 12:01:45 PM
Welcome, Patrice.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Siddharth on October 18, 2017, 01:52:33 PM
Hello everyone, I am Siddharth. I got introduced to meditation through OSHO while trying to figure out certain existential questions in my early teens(late 2011) by reading various texts. Since then, I tried to meditate by reading about what meditation is, but always got frustrated during my practise in a very short period of time and quit. I always wanted to somehow "learn" to meditate but did not make any lasting or significant strides in the direction because of who I was at that point of time.

I December 2014, I learned about Goenka's meditation retreats. As they were free and formally taught how to meditate, I registered instantly for a retreat in may 2015 (semester break from university), but ultimately did not attend. Eventually, I attended the retreat in December 2016, and since then have been practising the technique 50% the days for this last year as taught there(or what i understood they taught). Though my practise generally is an hour long sitting, sometimes I still get distracted and just stop.

Though overall I have become more centred, more observant and have had many physical, social and other realisations in multiple spheres of life, I am still a beginner and learning primarily through my observations and inner experiences.

I find it natural to join this community at this point of time (thank you for accepting me in  :-*). Although I already have a lot of questions and observations to discuss in my mind, I will leave it for subsequent discussions. My understanding so far has led me to believe that we are ultimately all on our own but still there seem to be ample of utility of community or sangha (forgive me if this is not aligned with the basic teachings of gautama the buddha, i do not have in depth knowledge. perhaps some day !). Perhaps we can be play a part in each other's journey.

With Metta,
Siddharth
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: georg7887 on October 18, 2017, 02:15:37 PM
Hi everyone and thank you Matthew for reopening this forum for new users:) My name is Georg and I'm from Graz, Austria. I started with anapanasati about 10 years ago with definitely more off than on-phases. This year I felt ready to join my first vipassana retreat which gave me a great introduction to my monkey mind, for which I'm really grateful. Since then I meditate on a daily base and I'm becoming more and more mindful during the day. What a wonderful gift that can be:)

I'm looking forward to getting to know you better and share some thoughts with you.

Greetings

Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on October 18, 2017, 05:31:58 PM
Welcome, Siddharth and Georg.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Geraldine on November 12, 2017, 04:59:07 PM
Hello to everybody

I'm the newest member and very happy to have found your group. My name is Geraldine living in Denmark and I'm pretty new to meditation, having only 'seriously' started in October this year. I'm very much looking forward to getting to know you and to learn more about meditation :)  So far it's the best thing I ever tried.

Best wishes, Geraldine
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: playground on November 12, 2017, 07:24:50 PM
Welcome Siddharth.
Welcome Georg.
Welcome Geraldine.

:-)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Marshmallow on December 31, 2017, 06:04:19 AM
Hi everyone,

I've been practicing meditation for about a decade and it has been incredibly life-changing for me. I've suffered from chronic anxiety, depression and chronic health problems for most of my life, but today I feel healed emotionally. Meditation has made me stronger and given me so much insight on life and on my personal issues. Although I still suffer from chronic illness, my health keeps improving and even though I still experience some physical pain and challenges my mind is mostly at peace. I've also become much more resilient! I'm incredibly grateful for my meditation practice and practice everyday.  :angel:

I practiced meditation quite intensively for the last few years, mostly with a Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation practice. I also often enjoy practicing the body-scan, which is great for pain relief (physical pain that is). For a long time I was in such physical pain that the only thing I could reach out to was meditation. I sometimes visited seemingly very dark places and it could be incredibly challenging to 'be there' with all my symptoms and physical pain. But at the same time, it's said that the more challenging something is, the more we learn.

When I started practicing, I did not know if all the promises of meditation were true. But my meditation practice really did improve my mental health, my relationships and have made me a much luckier person. I now have a successful long-term relationship with my spouse, and live a happy, comfortable, quiet life. I now consider myself a happy introvert.  :)

I decided to join this site following a desire to speak with other meditators (which is an opportunity I don't have in real life) and look forward to meeting all of you.

If anyone here has been experiencing similar health issues, I would strongly recommend the ABC method, a cognitive-behavioral technique I started practicing as a result of my meditation practice and a whole food diet. These have been so useful in restoring my health. I'm also happy to share what I've learned along the way, although I will not pretend to be an expert. I can only speak from personal experience.

I sincerely wish that meditation will be as helpful to other people here as it has been to me.  ;)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Middleway on January 01, 2018, 11:39:40 PM
Welcome Marshmallow.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Sar on January 02, 2018, 01:54:30 PM
Thank you for the opportunity to join this Sangha.
I am in Canada and have been doing a seated meditation practice since mid 2016.  Prior to that I'd been doing self inquiry (SI); contemplation, reading, journal, analysis, etc.  The SI seemed to have reached as far as it could go, at least for the time, and a whole new level of insight has been introduced with the seated meditation.  I've been practicing a hybrid of John Yates's work and Goenka.
The goal for meditation/SI/practice here is 'full insight', 'realization', or any other equivalent expression.  Said another way, practice has not been about finding happiness or dealing with stress.  I am therefore hoping to learn about technique that will deepen insight practice.
Thank you again.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Marshmallow on January 02, 2018, 05:17:44 PM
Welcome Sar!

I'm also in Canada, in Montreal, Qc.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: BeHereNow on January 02, 2018, 06:12:34 PM
Yey, Canadians!  I am from Toronto.  Welcome, Sar and Marshmallow!
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Marshmallow on January 03, 2018, 10:30:01 PM
 :D Hi BeHereNow, nice to meet you!

I enjoyed reading some of your posts by the way, I was looking around the forum the other day. :)

I don't know about you but I haven't been able to go outside much lately, it's been very cold.  ???
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on January 04, 2018, 04:41:15 PM
Welcome, Geraldine, Marshmallow and Sar.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Marshmallow on January 15, 2018, 06:03:20 PM
Thank you Vivek, nice to meet you.  :)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: oscarabeo on January 15, 2018, 06:43:35 PM
Hi all,

my nickname is oscarabeo. I have no deep association to it, but it comes from a contraction of "o' scarabeo" meaning "the scarab" in Italian (Naples dialect.) Or at least, this is my guess, as I don't speak this language.

I rediscovered meditation several times over the past decade but it was only the past year that I became serious about it, when I realized I was bearing physical symptoms of anxiety. I am a PhD student in a hard science and I've gone through a number of tough situations with advisors, which have probably been the important factors. My physical symptoms include insomnia, dermatitis, elevated heart rate, stressful dreams, and some depression. I was sure I had a vitamin deficiency or a neurological problem, and brushed off anyone who suggested it might be due to stress. But test after test came up negative.

My insomnia drove me to desperation so I decided I would do ten-day vipassana retreat. In the middle of it I hit a "flow", where concentration became easy, sitting became comfortable, and my heart rate cooled down to a purr. For reasons I don't understand, the body-awareness methods of vipassana take me to a state of intense physical relaxation, which persists even after the meditation ends. After that flow-day, I slept well, my heart rate stayed low, and my anxiety all but vanished. I would not have believed it if it hadn't happened to me, but my dermatitis also went away.

These symptoms have returned since I have come back to work, but are attenuated. I wonder if with more practice they will go away.

The meditation also made me notice I carry around a heavy weight of regret. All of these past mistakes were my "sankharas".

For me, vipassana meditation has not been about finding insight, so much as it has been about finding peace through insight.

Per Goenke's suggestion I've committed to meditating at least two hours a day. With insomnia it's challenging to do it in the morning, but I always get it done sooner or later. Last night, I did my first sitting of an hour and a half, and the time flew by. It was a great feeling. I feel I am making good progress in terms of awareness of my sensations, and slower but steady progress in terms of equanimity.

It has been about a month since the first day of the retreat and I am optimistic about the time to come. There have been changes in my life, some positive, some neutral. Sleep has become only slightly better, and is now (curiously) filled with seemingly endless dreams, sometimes lucid ones. And I find that I am able to let go of work more easily, and not let it pull me away from the moment when I'm trying to do other things. My mind has become calmer and less controlling.

While it is too early for me to offer advice to others, I hope this sketch of my short experience will inspire others like me to give meditation a try. This looks like the start of a new way of life for me.

oscarabeo
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: raushan on January 16, 2018, 02:09:48 PM
Welcome to the forum oscarabeo.
Glad to know about your progress in just one month. Yeah, with more practice they should go away.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on January 16, 2018, 03:07:56 PM
Welcome, oscarabeo.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Marshmallow on January 17, 2018, 09:57:15 PM
Nice to meet you Oscarabeo. I enjoyed reading your post and find it inspiring.  :)  You will certainly benefit more as you practice.

If I can't find enough time during the day to practice, since the days can go by so quickly, I practice when going to bed at night, instead of reading. It usually helps me fall asleep as well. I would recommend practicing the body-scan. Also practicing mindfulness meditation throughout the day makes it easier to practice more often, I find that it requires less discipline than taking 15-30 minutes to practice during the day. You can practice whenever you like, while walking, washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, showering, waiting in line, etc.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Marshmallow on January 21, 2018, 10:14:41 PM
Please let me know if you didn't receive my message, since it doesn't show up in my sent messages for some reason.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: bedifferent on January 25, 2018, 06:42:42 PM
Hey everyone, new to the forum!

here's my first post/thread I made, if you'd like to get a bit of background of my past, and future plans  :)

https://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php?topic=3332.0
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Isobel on January 27, 2018, 01:19:44 AM
Hello

I’ve recently started meditating.  I have tried to practice mindfulness for a long time now but didn’t really take the time to sit down and meditate.  Then I completed an online course called Buddhism and Modern Psychology which made me realise that I should. I would like to find a meditation class but don’t really have the time or the money at the moment (well time wouldn’t be a problem if I could bring my four year old daughter along but I’m guessing that would be frowned upon :))So I thought that if I joined this forum I could at least ask for advice and share experiences.  Does anyone have any reading recommendations?
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Middleway on January 28, 2018, 04:32:36 PM
Welcome Isobel. Look under book recommendations on this forum. There are several helpful threads under books recommendations on this forum. Suggest you look at those first.

Welcome bedifferent.

Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Ottercreek on February 14, 2018, 05:28:02 PM
Hi everybody
My name is Veronique, I wonder why I didn't just try that as username but anyway... Ottercreek is the translation for the french name of the creek where I live, in the woods near Quebec city, Canada (I saw there are a few proud canadians here on the forum!). Please forgive my -occasionnally strange- english!
I started to meditate seriously in 2002 at a Goenka course, it was a fantastic, life-changing discovery. I guess I was quite critical and not very respectful, and soon I got "kicked out", went on to practice with a Zen group (Deshimaru), back to Goenka's Vipassana for a couple of retreats and then to a Chan retreat center for more 10-days retreats. I've been practicing daily 1-2 hours for many years, but my daily practice seems not very strong, depending on life conditions like living with another boyfriend, sometimes I drop it completely. At least my efforts on continuous mindfulness really help to keep me going.
I'm not really buddhist, well I did take refuge officially but I'm not very keen on precepts and on traditions, generally speaking. Still, buddhist teachings contributed very much to my understanding of practice and of life, and I'm deeply motivated to share "the Path" or Dhamma or call it as you like, as irregular and as modest as my contribution may turn out to be... Looking forward to sharing with you all!
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Siddharth on February 17, 2018, 07:28:01 AM
Hey veronique ! Welcome  ;D
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: cluedance on February 21, 2018, 10:20:48 AM
Thanks for the cordial welcome [matthew] !                                                                                       Regrds to one and all !                                                                                                                    cluedance
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Neon on April 07, 2018, 09:55:31 PM
Hello everyone. I don't know where to start.
I came from listening to an online guru and doing occasional meditation and self enquiry. The web site I've been following is a highly westernised attempt to promote fast enlightenment, and promotes these techniques but also psycodelics of various types which wasn't for me. There's other issues with that site too, I won't go into.

I became very confused as most of my meditation sessions turn into self enquirey sessions. Sometimes I had amazing results and actually had this chakra effect from basically doing everything wrong and turning "who am I" into a mantra.

Truth is, despite some interesting experiences, I feel I need to get back to basics and start again. I think I want to try following breathing. What do you suggest, is that a good place to start again?

My struggles: I have chronic tinnitus, very loud. I don't see this as a hindrance because you can listen to tinnitus and it's calming. However those of you who go for sensory deprivation; I can't do that.
I also work long hours and am tired most of the time (and about to have my first child in a few months). I sometimes go to attempt meditation and fall asleep.
I also am in a fair amount of back pain and IBS pain. This doesn't really hinder meditation but explains a lot of other things about me.

My progress. In meditation, I suddenly reached a place where I was not tired anymore. That was very very strange indeed. My over-whelming thought was "now I can meditate for hours like this!" and then alas it all disappeared.
Another time, during self enquiry, I see what looks like an explosion in slow motion shaped like a dandelion, and the sound of like school children in a playground. My heart was thumping louder and louder and I was being drawn into this centre. Again it ultimately dissipated.
These small things, keep me going on the path.

The feeling I need to start again, I guess comes from this hectic lifestyle, it doesn't sound condusive to meditation and yet you can still be copletely determined to follow this path however difficult it is.

If anyone is reading this, can i start with this question; what is the real difference between what I call meta-thinking, which is thinking about thinking, thinking about your thoughts as they occur and mindfullness?
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Withoutascent on April 16, 2018, 07:22:34 AM
Hi, I’m Barry. I was a high school English teacher for 33 years. I also grew up in a family of building contractors, learned the trade from my father and supplemented my income during college and summers and vacations during my teaching years building houses, roofing, painting, etc.

Now, at 67, I have given up my previous vocations to become a professional dog trainer. 20 years experiece at that. Starting in college, I began studying Tai Chi, Tai Chi Sword and Aikido. Continued studying both off and on for the past 49 years.

Began meditating in college, back in those early Ram Das years. Though TM was the flavor of that period, I began with zazen and then added vipassana. Less experienced in but working daily now on Loving Kindness mediation. Also employ body scanning for stress relief and Les Femhi’s Open Focus techniques.

I have returned to daily practice after several years of occasional meditation practice. I am doing two 30 minute self-directed sittings per day, plus some extra time spent on Headspace when I’m out and about. I am interested in the scientific analysis of meditation and learning about variation on techniques. I recently enjoyed reading Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson. Just started on Robin Wright’s Why Buddhism is True. The Mind Illuminated is another reference I reread periodically.

I am interested in psychology, NLP, and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) as an approach to psychiatric conditions. (Anxiety has always been a recurring issue for me.) I approach aging, cognitive enhancement and general health and well-being through vitamin and herbal supplementation, diet and exercise.

From 1973 -1982, I studied both Tai Chi and Aikido from the same man, Lou Kleinsmith, who was a master teacher of both disciplines in Saugherties, NY and NYC. He was a senior student af Cheng Man Ching, the Chinese master who brought Tai Chi the the US.

I was also studying a couple forms of karate at the time and doing resistance training. I asked Lou once about studying disparate and non-complementary disciplines at the same time so I could take the best of each and use each as a lens through which to evaluate and modify the others. For example, Tai Chi people do not tend to work on weight lifting to develop strength because that is not what Tai Chi is about. Karate practitioner block punches, Aikido practioners deflect and redirect them. TM practitioners worship the mantra while vipassana concentrates primarily on breathing. Lou’s advice was that if you dig one well, sooner or later you will hit water, but if you put energy into digging many wells, none may ever be deep enough to hit water.

So I ignored his advice and have always been the better for it!

in meditation, martial arts and all forms of self-development, I learn best by studying and then contrasting and comparing opposite approaches and applying concepts from one discipline to another. The operant conditioning I learned as a dog trainer taught me more about teaching teen-agers than any teacher training, seminar or class. I combine NLP techniques with meditation, especially when emotions come to the surface during sitting. The psychiatric principals of ACT parallel the teachings of vipassana very well. I use Aikido, mindfulness techniques and principals of psychoanalysis to train dogs. When I taught, I was doing Tai Chi every time I walked into a classroom—and sometimes Aikido when I broke up fights in the hall.  :)

Still digging lots of holes.

~Barry

Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Gabriel on April 16, 2018, 12:04:48 PM
Good morning from Virginia, USA. I’ve meditated sporadically for years. Nothing special or advanced about it in any way. Just always interested in the topic.

I got very lost spiritually in my late teens and 20s. But now, I seem to have found in Buddhism some fundamental information about life that I didn’t realize I was looking for.

Looking forward to learning and sharing with all of you.  :)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Middleway on April 17, 2018, 12:45:11 AM
Welcome to the forum Gabriel, Withoutascent, and Neon.

Withoutascent, that was quite in introduction!

Neon, please start a new thread and ask your questions. This thread is mainly for introductions and you may not get any responses here.


 
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Ottercreek on April 19, 2018, 12:38:52 PM


I ignored his advice and have always been the better for it!

in meditation, martial arts and all forms of self-development, I learn best by studying and then contrasting and comparing opposite approaches and applying concepts from one discipline to another.

Hi Barry, many might disagree but I love your approach!  ;)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: ColinOR on May 26, 2018, 05:25:27 PM
Hello!

My name is - as my screen name would suggest - Colin. It's nice to meet you all and to join this community, which I'm grateful to find. I hope to speak to as many of you as I can manage. :)

I won't give you a full biography - I'm prone to verbosity - but will try to give my meditation background.

I have dabbled since my late teenage years (I'm in my late 40s now). My first introduction to the idea of meditation was actually as an obsessive Beatles fan (I wonder how common that is?), though I didn't really try to practice until I got a book called How to Meditate: A Guide to Self-Discovery by Lawrence LeShan, which gave me a simple breath-count meditation that I've used as my go-to ever since.

More recently I've tried to come back to meditation. I am a recovering addict (four years off alcohol) and have found meditation a useful part of my recovery. As part of a treatment programme I attended I did a six-week course in "Mindfulness Meditation" that was well taught and serious. I've also used HeadSpace for a while. I've done the "moving meditations" of yoga and tai chi and done classes in both that had a mindful or meditative aspect to them.

I'm interested in buddhism and have tried listened to a good deal of Pema Chodron, Robina Courtin, and Stephen and Martina Batchelor. I largely watch YouTube videos of them.

And therein lies my current wish to meditate more and more usefully and with more discipline: I really don't have the attention span to read a serious book at the moment. Quitting alcohol and drugs has been wonderful, but the anxiety they masked are now there to be faced, and obsessive online avoidance techniques - largely social media - have stepped into the place of the drugs and are behaviours I am struggling to moderate or quit as they are encouraging terseness, impatience, and selfishness in me.

I did warn that I can be verbose!

I wish you all well and look forward to finding out more about this community.


Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on May 28, 2018, 05:52:02 PM
Welcome Colin.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: ColinOR on May 30, 2018, 04:39:25 PM
Thank you, Matthew, that's very kind.

I'll have a look around and hope to contribute if and when I find I have something useful to say.

:)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: kmikz on June 30, 2018, 08:33:04 PM
Hello all,

My name is Adrian and I first tried meditation about 3 year ago, after I've seen that I have anxiety and I wasn't able to go to sleep, sometimes for hours. I first tried Headspace, committing to the first 10 days for 10 minutes a day. I was hooked ever since.

Headspace taught me to observe my breathing and with only 10 minutes a day, I was still seeing changes I didn't expect in my life: being calmer, having a better self image, not being so hard on myself. So when I heard there were 10 days retreats I was interested.

The first 10 day Goenka retreat changed my life. I had so much energy, everything was just shimmering and shining and had a glow I never saw before. I maintained a daily practice, but not with vipassana (body scanning), but trying to watch the breath, as I liked it more.

After that I began to chase the feeling that I had after that first retreat, which subsided after a few months. I still had a positive outlook on life, but the glow wasn't there. I took two or three more retreats before coming to know that it wasn't about the glow, there was something more and deeper than chasing that high.

I have been to 6 retreats in the past 3 years and one of them was as a server, to give something back to the people that helped change my life and help other people change theirs.

I joined this forum to grow in Dhamma and help strengthen my practice.

May all beings be liberated, may all beings be happy!
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Cirrus on July 10, 2018, 12:30:11 PM
Hello, how are you all?
My name is Rebecca, I live in the UK. I've very recently come to meditation from practising yoga asanas and pranayama, which I love and benefit from. For the last few weeks, this is how new I am, I've practised daily focused mediation and Vipassana. I hope to learn much more. Thank you for accepting me into this community. 
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: raushan on July 10, 2018, 09:54:52 PM
Welcome Rebecca. You should find the forum helpful.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on July 11, 2018, 06:58:53 AM
Welcome to the forum, Adrian and Rebecca.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: aayushkr on July 16, 2018, 07:15:52 PM
Hello vipassana community!
My name is Aayush and I attended SN Goenka's 10 day vipassana course in March this year. Since then, I am actively developing the habit of meditating in the morning and night for an hour and the habit is solidifying at a moderate rate. I am grateful for my present way of life where I try to observe rather than react and opine  :).

I mostly rely on the dhamma.org app for instructions and meditation and have been reading the mahasatipatthana sutta published by VRI. Other than SN Goenka resources, I also used the resources created by Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu of Sirimangalo monastery, Tathagata monastery's insight to meditation instructions, the Hamilton project blog's 'Going For Stream Entry On A Goenka 10-Day Vipassana Course'.

For monetary sustenance I work as a software engineer and I live in Southern California.

I plan to attend another 10 day course (or preferably a 30 day course) early next year. I have set an intent to lay the groundwork for it now and to use that time as 'diligently, patiently and persistently' as possible and to meditate continuously.

Thank you for creating this community I will definitely be reading the discussions quite a bit and adding/asking my thoughts every now and then. Please feel free to help me with whatever advise/remarks you have. I am eager to develop on this path. :)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: raushan on July 16, 2018, 08:07:41 PM
Welcome Aayush.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Vivek on July 18, 2018, 03:15:26 PM
Welcome, Aayush.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: mobius on July 25, 2018, 10:38:50 PM
Hello! I joined here to learn and ask questions, as it seems getting advice from more experienced people in meditation is a wise thing to do (rather than just reading or listening to podcasts, which is what I've been doing).

I'm 28 years old, I started meditating for the first time several weeks ago and now I'm in the process of solving a mystery from my childhood. (I'll explain that in another topic).  I am not religious, though Buddhism and Hinduism does interest me quite a bit. I'm Agnostic when it comes to God or spirits. I'm a scientific person, but I also try to have an open mind about such things. I've never done any drugs though I've been reading a lot about them recently, like on the John-Hopkins psylocibin studies, one thing that got me interested in this in the first place. Fascinating studies/stories to listen to.

In spite of what I just said; I always thought meditation was just about relaxing, and forcing yourself to be calm and reducing stress in your life. Wasn't I wrong?  :) After meditating for several weeks I've gotten a few tastes (for better or for worse) of the... mind/life altering capabilities. Wow. I promptly realized I needed to take this more seriously and learn and research before just going about this willy-nilly.

Reading through some existing topics has already been helpful, so thank you!
As I'm very new to this and not a practitioner of any school of thought of religion, please excuse my ignorance and perhaps lack of appropriate language.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Merrikay on August 01, 2018, 06:11:37 PM
Hi everyone! I’m Kaela, 27 year old mother of two and I am an inconsistent meditator, haha. I’m happy to be here and love to everyone.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: raushan on August 03, 2018, 07:11:58 AM
Welcome mobius and Kaela.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Nope on August 04, 2018, 12:30:40 PM
Hi Everyone!

First and foremost, thanks for accepting me in the group :)

I attended my first 10 Days Vipassana (SN Goenka) in December 2017, without any previous experience in meditation. I was introduced to Vipassana by a former Yoga teacher; After the retreat, i maintained the following routine: 1h mediations a day + 1h of group meditation/week + 4h meditation course/per month. I stuck to this until the last 2 months and in 1 week I am attending my second 10d.

Thanks again for letting me become part of the forum and also for all the information and support you are guys providing :)

Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Bambs on August 05, 2018, 05:57:28 PM
Hello everyone!

Thank you for accepting me into the group.

I have meditated on and off for several years, sometimes very regularly and sometimes not, so I hope participating in this community will help me build up a steady practise.

I'm a longtime reader of the forum and a lot of what has been said on here has been very valuable and useful to me - as I am sure it has been to many others  :)

Bambs
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: derek on August 19, 2018, 08:55:55 PM
Hi Everyone

My name is Derek, I've been meditating for a few months now and feel I've hit a bit of wall. I'm continuing with it. I tend to use an app called Calm, I like a little help in getting started. I'm hoping to learn more about meditation and to work on finding that calm place that I know exists somewhere.

Thanks
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: KHo on September 01, 2018, 10:30:02 PM
Hi everyone!

My name is Kevin and I started practicing Vipassana meditation last year on a 10-day Goenka retreat. I've been meditating on and off and am looking forward to growing my practice into a daily habit alongside the rest of this community.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: aspen patchouli on September 18, 2018, 03:56:30 PM
Greetings fellow journeymen.  I'm not sure if this is how I'm supposed to post an intro or not, but this is the best I can figure out so here goes.  I have had a very troubled past.  When I was 6 years old I was in a wreck that killed my little brother and a family friend, and literally killed me.  The emts had to bring me back to life on the scene.  I spent 91 days in the hospital, the first part(over a week) in a coma.  And I had to learn to do everything all over again.  Ever since then I have felt disconnected from society somehow, but I digress.  About 2 years ago, I started weaning myself off of caffeine.  That led to taking myself off of sodas.  Fast forward to now, and I have been a vegetarian for a month now.  I have been meditating for almost 2 years now, and I think I am just now starting really feel the benefits.  The emotions that I had kept inside after the accident are coming to the surface now, and I feel more at peace with the natural world around me.  I no longer watch television, I pretty much just keep it on a meditative station.  Yesterday I pretty much meditated all day, and I had the best nights sleep of my adult life......10 hours without moving an inch!
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: VipassanaXYZ on October 12, 2018, 07:33:19 AM
Welcome!
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: savethelastbreathforme on November 06, 2018, 07:28:09 PM
Hi folks,

Thank you for hosting this forum. Nice to know so many other people are exploring meditation. As for myself, I have started meditation since getting ill over christmas 2017. End result of the illness is loud Tinnitus (both ears), and strange neuropathic head problems.

I have been doing mindful meditation & deep breathing meditation, and have found so far it keeps me in balance - if that makes sense.

Although only meditating for 2 weeks - I think I have found a new friend.

Thank you.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Amanaki on December 13, 2018, 09:32:37 AM
Hello everyone :) I am new to this forum and i hope to learn new aspects of the meditation here :)
I have had about 20 years with vipassana meditation practice but i know i still need improvements :)


Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on December 15, 2018, 06:38:56 AM
Welcome savethelastbreathforme and Amanaki.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Jvd on January 31, 2019, 05:03:51 AM
Hi, I’m Jim Van Dyke ( ‘JVD’) from the east San Francisco Bay Area, USA.

I’m 58, son of a very mixed up fundamentalist minister, who I chose to believe when he said that I wouldn’t live to become an adult because of the impending apocalypse. I tried the Christian path for my early years (intertwined with much radical experimentation), and then tried meditation starting in my mid 20’s. Yes, good can come from Donald Trump and his followers, because in late 2017 I found myself so wound up with anger at the increased amount of racist comments stemming from him and echoed by family members that I finally found the ability to meditate for a few moments each morning (humor intended in that last sentence...the best humor is often true, right?). Good is wherever you find it I suppose.

Since using a guided meditation app recently, I feel like I’m truly encountering some profound personal changes. It’s often like I’m watching a movie of this thing called life, and perhaps I’m less of a primary character and maybe a bit of all the characters and even the setting in this so-called movie. I also feel less of a desire for excitement all the time, and more contentment. Additionally, I’m radically aware of the head games I feel in response to interaction with others...what a manic amount of fireworks I’ve had going on in my head all these moments of my life!

Thanks for hosting and maintaining this site, Matthew.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Apkallu on January 31, 2019, 12:24:04 PM
Hello,

I am Laurent from Paris, France and a 45 yo man.

I started meditation in Jan 2015 (AYP/Yogani) until I switched 2/3 years after to MCTB.
I've been doing Asana & Zhan Zhuang ... so exploring a bit energetic possibilities.
But I was disappointed by not really bettering myself apart some siddhis here and there that were not that much useful in feeling more calm on a long period. On the contrary.

This was more like being more calm at the surface but the storm was still underneath and more powerful than ever to the point where you could litterally go mad rather quickly and feel numb/dull the rest of the time (which could be wrongly considered calmness).
I was told to do more "grounding" activities but I could relate it was not helpful.

I also faced personal issues that finally were even more destabilizing than expected and this energy just melt myself from the inside (atrocious) and I think, helped in aggravating PTSD symptoms that arose.

I thus decided, after almost 3 years of suffering, to completely change of method for good (no more energy stuff) and tried SN Goenka for 3 weeks (listening to his discourses of the 10 days retreat). Of course, this is not ideal and I know retreats would be recommended but I cannot yet and need help nevertheless.

So let's just judge the tree to its fruits : my PTSD almost disappeared but I nevertheless experienced some rage outbursts from time to time probably due to wrong practice (possibly too much attention to sensations and thus equanimity could not develop enough). This imbalance I experienced is being corrected. I also corrected my observation not to be attention/intention which would lead to move energy where I look at internally and create sensations by myself.

Of course, I (try to) never mix what I learned with Goenka's method and every listening uncovers new truths/understandings but I felt the help here from experienced practitioners could be a life saving... and prepare me to a retreat one day (considering I think I would explode if I would attend it right now).

Thank you for reading me.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on January 31, 2019, 03:47:45 PM
Hi Jim and Laurent, welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: 11square on February 01, 2019, 11:42:15 AM
Hi, Everyone

Thanks for accepting me to the forum, I'm am Vineeth. I'm from India.  I came to know about meditation 5 years ago. But the practice has been on and off, feel like I need a constant motivation to make to a daily habit.  So here I'm, learn and practice with all your help.

Thanks.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Kamma on February 09, 2019, 05:26:56 PM
Hello meditators,

I'm happy to have finally registered (after lurking for a while) in this lovely community!

I've started meditation when I was still a child, without even knowing what it was. Later on I discovered it's an actual thing and experimented with many techniques (and also various drugs, most of them natural). What I lacked so far was consistency.

Goenka's Vipassana (I did 2 courses, one just recently) has helped me tremendously to understand myself and the world better. I must have done something right in a previous life, as from very early on I've experienced what I understand is called bhanga. It changed everything in me and I got out of a depression that haunted me for years. I've been an atheist since childhood, which has left me quite empty and purposeless. Experiencing the reality of existence was like taking a veil from my eyes.

But, as I said, consistency has not been my forte, so I didn't keep a regular meditation practice. I did apply many of the learnings in my day to day life though, so I've seen the benefits first hand. With the start of this year I've done a 2nd 10-day Vipassana course which has helped me understand the technique better and made me more decided to follow up. I managed to keep the 2h daily sittings on most days in the past 3 weeks which is such a big acomplishment for me! Being on this forum is definitely very motivational and I love reading your stories.

Thank you for having me and much metta to all!

Kamma
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: raushan on February 10, 2019, 06:46:11 PM
Welcome to the forum Vineeth, Kamma.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: tbarron on February 12, 2019, 09:48:38 PM
Hello,

My name is Tom. I live in East Tennessee in the US.

I have been meditating for a while. I attended a weekend Zen retreat back in the 90's -- don't remember the exact year now, but it was when I was meditating regularly (weekly) with the local sangha that sponsored the retreat. I struggled to maintain a daily practice back then, but missed many days.

Since then, my practice has been off and on, more off than on, although I did have a couple of years in the last fifteen where I meditated every day, typically for 30 minutes or less each day. I've been working on another daily streak since April 7, 2017, again 30 minutes or less each day. Since I retired at the end of April, 2017, I have a lot more free time to devote to practice.

This past December (2018), my appetite for sitting suddenly increased and I'm up to around 1.5 to 2 hours each day at this point. I think the increase in appetite may have been due to a combination of some painful personal conflict with family members coupled with running across some testimonial information about the benefits of awakening for understanding oneself and being able to navigate relationships more skillfully. Whatever it was, my motivation has been strong ever since.

The guidance I'm currently using is the book The Mind Illuminated, by Culadasa. I've also benefited from some of his youtube videos. In the system described in that book, I judge myself to be on stage 4, which just means I've almost got where I can keep my attention on the breath for the whole session with minimal distractions.

I'm grateful to be able to be part of this sangha. Thank you for allowing me to join. I hope to learn lots from you all and to contribute as I'm able.

May all of us and everyone else be healthy, happy, and content.

Tom

PS: JVD, just wanted to say that I relate to what you wrote. My parents were Southern Baptist missionaries in Indonesia. It made for an interesting cultural experience growing up, but their religious beliefs ultimately didn't work for me. I'm your age, too.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Mohit on February 23, 2019, 07:07:37 AM
Hello Everyone,

Greetings!!
My name is Mohit and I live in Delhi, India. I got introduced to the topic some years back courtesy books from the likes of JK, Eckhart, Ajahn Brahm etc and have been an active meditator since then . I also had the privilege of attending a retreat in Dharamshala last year where I got introduced to the Shamatha practice.

I usually practice in early morning for 1-2 hours and try to remain as aware as possible throughout the day. I can see that the practice is improving and I can remain more aware of my emotions and feelings by regular practice. Sometimes it becomes really frustrating and irritating, but I guess once you start on this path, it is very difficult to go back to the old habits and old ways of doing things. One simply knows and understands that everything has been temporary and conditioned and to know the reality, one has to practice and see things as they really are. What generally keeps me inspired is my keenness to achieve freedom and happiness by being independent from every external thing/people.

This sangha is highly required for keeping the motivation levels and improving on the practices. I would thank everyone here and my best wishes to all  in there journey.

May all sentient  beings be full of compassion and loving kindness.

Warm Regards,
Mohit
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Middleway on February 23, 2019, 06:05:26 PM
Welcome Tom and Mohit.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Jallen on March 11, 2019, 03:35:34 PM
Hello everyone!

Thank you for accepting my request to join (whoever you are).

I began practicing meditation and studying Buddhist philosophy 10 years ago (at age 16) to overcome depression. That was until an ex-gf became frustrated with me for not responding to her attempts to trigger me, calling me "a robot."  ;)

I have since drifted towards other forms of spiritual practices, experimenting with yoga, breathing techniques and psychedelics. I am now 26, and looking back on my meditation days, I remember them as the time when I was the most peaceful and contented I've ever been. I have recently attended a Goenka-style Vipassana retreat and am now looking to return to meditation as my main spiritual practice. I have some specific questions about said meditation practice, and will post them in the appropriate section :)

Much love,

Jamie
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Matthew on March 19, 2019, 01:06:00 AM
Welcome to the forum Jamie.
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: Ysa@29 on March 25, 2019, 05:33:54 AM
Hi, I'm a new member here, I was hoping that I will learn a lot from this site that could help me to improved practicing my meditation. I'm just new in meditation, mostly self-practiced. And as a beginner, I'm just doing some research of proper posture and other basic methods to practice. That's why I decided to join in this kind of forum site to learned new things from you guys. Thank you so much for accepting me here. :)
Title: Re: New members introduction thread 2017 - present.
Post by: lukebayler on March 26, 2019, 05:48:43 PM
Hello! Just introducing myself as I am a new member. I am here to learn from others about their practice and am also hoping to help others as well. Thank you for adding me as a member!